Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that 26 COVID-19 patients died at the Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), a state-run hospital, on Tuesday and an investigation is underway to determine the cause. He said these deaths occurred between 2 am and 6 am, reported PTI.

The High Court sought the investigation, with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who visited the hospital, saying, “(the gap between the) availability of medical oxygen and its supply to COVID-19 wards in the GMCH might have caused some issues for the patients”. He also emphasised that there was no shortage of oxygen supply in the state, reported PTI.

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Rane, while speaking to reporters, admitted that there was scarcity in the supply of medical oxygen at GMCH.

“The high court should investigate the reasons behind these deaths. The high court should also intervene and prepare a white paper on oxygen supply to the GMCH, which would help to set the things right”, said Rane after the chief minister’s visit to the hospital, reported PTI.

Rane said that the requirement of oxygen as on the day was 1200 jumbo cylinders, of which only 400 were received. “If there’s a shortfall in the supply of medical oxygen, the discussion should be held about how to bridge that gap”, he said. 

Earlier on Monday, Chief Minister Sawant posted pictures of his visit to the hospital and said that the healthcare workers were doing their best “on the frontline”.

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Rane said that a three-member team of nodal officers was made by the state government to supervise the COVID-19 treatment in the hospital.